Canadian Coast Guard takes action to protect marine environment in Shelburne, Nova Scotia

News Release

Shelburne, NS - The Canadian Coast Guard is taking action to protect the marine environment in Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

The Coast Guard, under powers granted to it by the Canada Shipping Act 2001, had given the owner of the MV Farley Mowat until Monday June 12, 2017, to develop a plan to address the threat of pollution the vessel posed while at dock in Shelburne.

With the deadline passed and no plan from the owner, the Coast Guard will move to eliminate the threat of pollution posed by the MV Farley Mowat by issuing a contract for the removal and disposal of the vessel. The Coast Guard will continue to coordinate the monitoring of the vessel until it has been successfully removed and disposed of. The Government of Canada will seek to recover costs from the owner.

The removal of the vessel speaks to the Government of Canada’s commitment to address abandoned, derelict and wrecked vessels. The Oceans Protection Plan introduced a comprehensive, national strategy that includes the development of new legislation that puts the responsibility and liability on vessel owners to properly remove and dispose of their vessels, as well as seeks to address existing high priority abandoned vessels and wrecks.

The Government of Canada will continue to work in collaboration with provincial, territorial, municipal and Indigenous organizations, to support the clean-up of smaller vessels that could potentially pose risks to Canadian coastal communities, while implementing a robust polluter-pay approach for future vessel clean-ups. 

Bernadette Jordan, Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret's, announced that the Government of Canada will take action to protect the marine environment by removing the MS Farley Mowat from Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

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Bernadette Jordan, Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret's


“As a coastal community, our shoreline and the water are a part of who we are. Abandoned and derelict vessels have no place on our shores, harbours or wharves, and the threat of pollution that they cause affects us all. It is a very welcome relief for the people of Shelburne for the Canadian Coast Guard to remove the MV Farley Mowat from the harbour – we commend them for taking action to protect our community, and I will continue to advocate for further action to deal with this problem affecting our coastlines.”

Bernadette Jordan, Member of Parliament, South Shore-St. Margaret's

“The work being launched to safely remove and dispose of the MV Farley Mowat, speaks to our government’s growing commitment under the Oceans Protection Plan to remove abandoned, derelict and wrecked vessels from the marine environment, while strengthening the tools and regulations needed to hold those accountable those who are responsible for leaving such vessels in our waters.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick Facts

  • The MV Farley Mowat is an all-steel vessel built in Norway in 1956. The vessel now sits at dock in Shelburne, NS where it is at risk of sinking and poses an imminent pollution threat to the environment.

  • On June 24, 2015, the vessel sank while alongside the Shelburne wharf. The vessel was subsequently refloated by contractors hired by the Canadian Coast Guard.

  • In May 2017, the Coast Guard contracted a marine surveyor to collect information on the MV Farley Mowat’s current condition, including its structural condition; watertight integrity; the quantity and location of any pollutants; and how the vessel would hold-up to towage.

  • The survey found oil-contaminated water in most of the tanks and determined that based on the vessel’s current condition, it is at risk of polluting if left unattended.

  • Under powers granted to the Coast Guard under Section 180 of the Canada Shipping Act 2001, the owner was directed to remove the pollutants and safely dispose of the vessel. The owner has not responded to the direction order to address the instability and poor condition of the vessel, which poses an imminent threat to the marine environment. The Canadian Coast Guard has full authority to issue an emergency contract to prepare and tow the MV Farley Mowat to a disposal yard to protect the marine environment. Coast Guard will use their own contracting authorities to secure the services of an appropriate disposal contractor.


Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada



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